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33 Agency Incentive/Rewards Program For the past two years, the agency has employed consul- tant services two days per month whose sole concern is the MVTA reviews incidents in three categories on a monthly safety program. basis--driver complaints (including safety-related incidents), missed trips, and fleet maintenance. Based on the number of substantial incidents, performance is rated "superior," "accept- Agency Disciplinary Practices able," or "non-acceptable." Incentives are given for "accept- able" and "superior" and penalties are imposed for "non- River Cities Public Transit uses an accident review committee acceptable" service. This program was developed in 2003 with to review all accidents and incidents and to make a determina- operator input. tion as to whether the event was preventable. Bus operators are represented on the committee. Additionally, safety awards are presented to operators who consistently display safe behavior. Two operators from In the past year, River Cities Public Transit has imple- this pool are selected as "Operators of the Year" and are hon- mented a cash penalty for any bus operator charged with a ored at an awards ceremony and banquet. preventable accident. The fine is $250 if the bus operator promptly reports the event to management, and $500 if not. Summary Agency Incentive/Rewards Program MVTA has developed a safety-focused culture through a comprehensive safety program that requires employees to put Working with the safety consultant, the agency has created safety first. a committee for the purpose of recommending employee recognition programs. Currently, River Cities Public Transit does not have any River Cities Public Transit, Pierre, South Dakota employee recognition programs with the exception of a Driver of the Year award. Agency Description Summary River Cities Public Transit is a private, nonprofit agency pro- viding transportation services to individuals with disabilities, As shown by the inclusion of safety in its mission statement senior citizens, low-income residents, and the general public and core values, River Cities Public Transit places a priority on in 11 counties in central South Dakota. Service is provided safety. The agency is working progressively to develop a strong 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to the service area of 30,000 residents. River Cities Public Transit currently provides safety program, including a process to address both rewards and 320,000 annual one-way trips. corrective actions. River Cites Public Transit coordinates transportation for numerous community agencies and businesses, is a Medicaid- licensed transportation provider, serves two Native American Southwest Transit, Eden reservations, and provides a variety of other services. Prairie, Minnesota Agency Description Organizational Approach to Safety SouthWest Transit is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. River Cities Public Transit puts a priority on safety. It is The system is suburban and provides fixed-route service to addressed in the organization's mission statement and is one communities southwest of Minneapolis. Its annual ridership of the system's seven core values: "Practice safety in all work is approximately one million. SouthWest Transit is operated activities." under a joint powers agreement (public agency) with pri- vately contracted transit operators (drivers) and street opera- All new bus operators are trained with the CTAA Passen- tions management staff (First Transit). SouthWest Transit's ger Service and Safety module. Additional training focuses on defensive driving identifying potential abuse and neglect of transit drivers are unionized (see Table 6). passengers. All new hires ride for two weeks with senior lead drivers and are observed during their first week of driving on Organizational Approach to Safety their own. SouthWest Transit's commitment to safety, security, and River Cities Public Transit also uses the Dakota Transit agency performance emphasizes as the overriding objective in Association (i.e., North and South Dakota) for training and the agency's strategic plan, to "Provide reliable, safe, comfort- professional development opportunities. able, and customer friendly service."

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34 Table 6 Southwest Transit Statistics 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Miles Driven 1,387,257 1,475,052 1,621,059 1,770,791 1,508,736 1,548,774 Passengers 800,020 900,227 953,573 1,146,829 1,011,974 1,002,382 No. of Passenger/Driver Injuries Requiring Immediate Medical 0 0 0 0 0 0 Attention No. of Chargeable Accidents 15 13 9 5 3 2 With over $2,500 Damage Accidents per 100,000 Miles 1.08 0.88 0.56 0.28 0.20 0.13 Cost of Chargeable Accidents $34,414 $23,231 $18,125 $12,500 $15,197 $14,332 Vehicle Breakdowns/Miles 17,560 24,000 31,780 26,314 28,467 36,122 Between Events Number of Work-Related Injuries 1 1 2 1 4 1 Reported (lost time) Within this objective are key metrics that are reviewed accident and incident retraining. A daily safety message and discussed at each monthly management meeting. These board, seen as the drivers leave the yard, includes the number metrics include: of days without an accident or incident, and a safety reminder as recommended by the SST. Achieving a chargeable accident rate at less than 0.75 per 100,000 miles driven, All new drivers are evaluated based on driving and back- Having no more than one employee injury resulting in ground checks, and are put through a minimum of 72 hours lost time for the year, of initial training consisting of classroom, behind-the-wheel Maintaining an on-time performance record of 99% or training, cadet training, customer service training, and emer- better, gency preparedness training. Maintaining the vehicle in service breakdown rate at or better than 1 per 25,000 miles operated, and Driver credentials are checked every four months to ensure Maintaining a customer service satisfaction rating of no new violations have occurred off the job, and criminal records 97% or better annually. are checked annually. The reference check frequency was increased by 50% after 2008, owing to concerns over economic Driver safety meetings are also held monthly to review conditions that produced a general increase in stress. A track- safety and security concerns including: MSDS, blood-borne ing system provides early alerts on any driver's license or DOT pathogens, evacuation procedures for facilities and buses, inci- health card expirations, and logs ride-along and audit frequency. dent communication radio codes, self-protection for drivers, suspicious object recognition and procedures, disruptive pas- A very important driver incentive program rewards each senger training, disabled passenger lifting procedures, prevent- operator with up to $2,000 in extra pay for reaching the ing passenger trips and falls, visitor and security awareness, safety and customer service goals. The agency's budget for safe driving tips, and the safe use of bus shoulders. A lunch this program is $162,000, and the average annual payout is is provided when the number of days without an accident 78%. Drivers who achieve top performance for four calendar exceeds 45. quarters are issued leather jackets with the SW logo, and gold driver nameplates instead of the standard black background A multi-disciplinary Safety Solutions Team (SST) has so the customers can recognize them. With longer service and monthly meetings and group presentations to review acci- clean safety performance records, operators receive a custom dents, incidents, safety tips, and suggestions. Team meetings jeweled gold pin, and then a leather tote to go along with the are attended monthly by two levels of management and pro- leather jacket. vide an opportunity for staff to present driver safety sugges- tions. The SST team leads the effort in planning monthly Operations managers are required to perform a minimum safety campaigns and contests. number of ride-along and ride-behind evaluations of routes, with every driver being evaluated at least once per year. Each Monthly safety campaign topics include the use of mirrors operations supervisor is required to perform 61 hours of road and reference points, quizzes and rewards, and required and ride-along observations per month.

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35 Drivers and managers carry a small booklet titled "Injury a "team failure event." Recipients are required to be active Protection Program," which provides tear-out notes for com- employees of record when the payment is made. Part-time mendations or safety concerns. Managers are required to employees and those on leave have their awards pro-rated for record good or bad safety habits and behaviors. the time they worked as a percent of total full-time hours. "Team failure events" disqualify the individuals from earn- Agency Disciplinary Practices ing any award in the quarter in which they occur, and disqual- ify them from sharing in the annual variable award pool. These SouthWest Transit has a standard approach to progressive events are actions that have a negative effect on the organiza- discipline which includes a series of verbal and written coun- tion as a whole and include, but are not limited to: seling steps. Its discipline program, specified in the employee handbook, outlines a series of three categories of disciplinary A chargeable, preventable accident or incident of any value infractions. A missed route Any proven act of violence, harassment, theft, or docu- Class 1 infractions are dischargeable offenses and include, mented misrepresentation. but are not limited to, felony convictions. Class 1 infrac- tions also include such safety-related issues as rear-end collisions, failure to properly secure a mobility device, Fixed Pool and roadway violations. Class 2 infractions are serious violations of the orga- The fixed incentive pool consists of $1,300 per operator, which nization's performance code. They include, but are not is paid in equal quarterly installments ($325.00) based on scor- limited to, excessive absenteeism, tardiness, reporting to ing for each individual (or is pro-rated on a quarterly basis as work unfit, and violating operating regulations. Class 2 described previously). A mixed task force of managers and infractions subject employees to suspension and final operators scores key performance factors subject to SouthWest warning for the first offence in a rolling 12-month period. Transit's approval. Factors include such aspects of the organi- Two safety-related violations in 12 months or three in zation's mission including, but not limited to: customer care, 36 months will result in discharge. safe operation, following rules and policies, and attendance. Class 3 infractions are considered secondary violations of the organization's performance code and include such If an award is not granted for a specific quarter, operators are issues as failure to report safety hazards or accidents. An eligible the following quarter. Team failure events may make employee's first offense results in a written warning, the an operator ineligible for the end of year variable pool award. second evokes a final warning, and a third offense within a 36-month period leads to discharge. Class 4 infractions are considered lesser violations of the Variable Pool organization's performance code that result in disciplin- ary action depending on the circumstances or repeated At the beginning of the year, the variable pool award bud- violations. Class 4 infractions include dress code vio- get is $25,000. Any savings from the fixed pool is added to lations, improper personal appearance, and poor work it; however, any chargeable accident costs will be deducted habits. from the variable pool. Once the task force has evaluated the final quarter, the remaining amount in the pool will be shared by all eligible participants. The shares are progres- Agency Incentive Rewards Program sive in nature, so those on the lower end of the pay scale are awarded a higher amount than those on the top. This is based SouthWest Transit has two safety and performance incentive on the relationship of the pay to the average of all drivers. As programs that operate in tandem. The Best Employees Suc- an example, if the pool was $40,000 at the end of the year, ceed Together (BEST) program focuses on the concept that shared by 57 drivers, the top hourly wage drivers earning employees will help meet the agency's mission of safety by 116% of the average would be awarded $587.58 on top of succeeding together. The BEST program offers employees a their quarterly $325.00, and the drivers who earn 79.3% of financial bonus from fixed or variable pools. average pay would be awarded $847.20 on top of their quar- terly award. Part-time employees are not pro-rated for this SouthWest Transit's 2010 driver incentive plan had a variable pool, as they are for the fixed pool. fixed budget of $100,000, which was split into two compo- nents; one fixed amount earnable per operator and a variable The BEST program was updated in 2011 to include provi- pool that was available to be shared by all eligible operators. sions for consistent yearly recognition. Operators who con- sistently meet the requirements of the driver incentive plan Eligibility for the program is extended to all operators who receive a "Gold Driver" designation that allows them to dis- have completed at least 30 days of revenue service and have play a special name plate on the bus that includes the opera- worked a full scoring calendar quarter without committing tor's name, the organization's strategic plan, and the title